What Does Mindfulness Have to Do With Attention Management?
Yoga. Meditation. Breathwork.
Sounds like a relaxing Saturday afternoon, eh?
That’s what most people think of when mindfulness comes to mind.
While these activities are all mindful, the common factor is being present and aware at any given moment.
Mindfulness refers to paying attention on purpose to what you’re doing while you’re doing it, with kind attention.
One thing most people don’t know is that mindfulness has a direct impact on attention management. Let’s take a deeper look at some questions I often hear from new clients.
What is attention management?
An important question to start with.
Attention management is fundamental to burnout prevention and efficiency. In simple terms, it means identifying priorities, eliminating distractions, and focusing on a single task at a time to optimize productivity and performance. Monitoring and constantly regulating your attention will enable you to work faster and not harder.
In this digital age, it’s never been so easy to get sidetracked, but a few extra windows open in Google and Facebook aren’t worth the hit to your productivity.
According to the University of Southern California, most workers check email for 23 percent of the workday. When two of the University professionals conducted a study by preventing 13 office workers from checking their email for a workweek, while having them wear heart monitors and keeping tabs on their computer time, they found that the participants’ stress went down.
They concluded that the members single-tasked and were more productive than when they checked their email periodically throughout the day, proving the value of attention management.
How cool is that?
How does attention management relate to mindfulness?
If we’re going to talk about attention management, it’s important to understand how it connects to mindfulness.
Mindfulness refers to the full awareness of your state of mind and surroundings. You need mindfulness to train yourself to manage your attention more effectively to increase your overall performance at work.
When you’re focused and conscious of your actions, you’re less likely to multitask and more likely to concentrate. That means:
Reduced stress and anxiety.
How is attention management different from time management?
Simple. You cannot have effective time management skills if you don’t have effective attention management skills. Attention management comes first. You can’t manage or regulate your time if you don’t know how to manage distractions and your attention.
Our minds wander 47 percent of our day. (Crazy, huh?)
If you can’t regulate your attention from past or future-oriented thinking, you won’t be able to regulate your time, either. At the end of the day, that can make you “busy” vs. “effective.”
Mindfulness is a key component of attention management. It helps you train the muscle of attention so that you’re more than 47 percent in charge of your day. Otherwise, you risk not finishing your to-do list since you multitasked.
If you want to stand out and master your energy and time, you need to learn the tools to be more mindful and to stand out at work.
That’s one of my best tips for attention management.
As an executive, teaching you and your team to practice attention management can improve how fast, well, and happy you work. Implement this system, and get ready to see your team thrive. I’m excited to hear how it works for you.
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